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Advice regarding March town centre temporary traffic lights

It has come to our attention that the temporary traffic lights in March town centre are sometimes perceived to be working incorrectly by showing a persistent red light for a longer duration than normal on all Broad Street junctions.

Traffic lights

Please be assured, if the lights are showing a colour, the traffic lights are working correctly. When the lights signal red for extended periods, it is due to the in-built safety system being triggered by drivers contravening the signal and failing to stop at a red light.

Only when NO colour is showing are the lights working incorrectly.

The lighting's in-built safety system defaults all lights to signal red for 3 minutes if any of the signals are driven past whilst a red light is showing (by contravening drivers).

This fail safe is in place to ensure that the road network is completely clear before the lighting system resumes normal and safe operation. It is specifically designed to reduce the likelihood of vehicular incidents of road users coming from different directions.

However, if during this 3-minute safety reset period any vehicles fail to stop at a further red light, the system re-sets again and all signals will show red for a further 3 minutes.

For example, if the safety re-set is triggered by a driver failing to stop at red, and a further two drivers jump the red light, the signals will show red for a total of up to 9 minutes.

As a result, it can appear to some road users that the lights are stuck on red, particularly if they had been waiting on red before the safety system was activated. This in turn can cause people to assume the lights are broken and jump the red light which then resets the system again, creating a false persistent red signal.

To reiterate, in all instances, where the lights are showing a colour, the lights are working correctly.

If the lights are not showing any colour, please contact the Traffic Management company via the phone number on Broad Street.

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January 2024

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